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Tax Deductible Trips

Feb 5, 2008
Looking to take a vacation and have it count as a tax-deductible occasion? You are not alone. Those with increasingly tight budgets are finding there are ways to mix business with pleasure and take vacations that allow them to declare them on their year-end taxes, saving them money.

Some non-profit organizations arrange volunteers to head to foreign countries where they can volunteer in some measure while spending leisure time touring the area. These trips might involve helping to rebuild homes after storm or earthquake damage or helping to feed or educate the poverty-stricken locals. If this appeals to you, make sure you become involved with a program that is non-profit, others may claim to be but if they lack the paperwork, you will end up paying for your entire trip and none of it will qualify for tax-deductible status. When you embark on your volunteer experience, you are required to pay for your airfare, food, and lodging and then claim all or a portion of it on your year-end taxes.

Are you taking a business trip? Many companies allow you to bring your family with you, providing you pay their transportation, food, and any difference in the room charge if applicable. If your company pays for a business suite, odds are high that you will have plenty of space for yourself and your spouse and/or children. While you attend business meetings, your family can go sightseeing without you. In the evenings, you are free to tour the city with your family. If you arrange your business trip so that you spend a few extra days, you will have extra time to spend with your family while your employer covers the bulk of your trip.

Self-employed individuals can attend lectures or meetings that are applicable to their line of business and claim those as a tax-deductible business expense at the end of the year. This is a great way to tour the country while aiding your business and getting to see different regions at the same time. The days you are away on business are tax deductible, and then you can add on days for leisure that you must pay for yourself. Another option is to arrange business meetings or lectures on a Friday and a Monday. You will attend the meetings or lectures as scheduled, but the weekend is free for you to do whatever you want. Meanwhile, your business expenses will cover the necessity for the lodging over the two-day weekend span.

Some investors even buy homes in other countries and states. By doing this they can claim some money back using their trip as a business expense for visiting and inspecting their property. The great thing about this is that the property is permanently situated their so you can go back and forth for as many holidays as you want. No need to wait for business trips or volunteer work.

Be careful not to claim every trip on tax unless it's a legitimate business holiday. Your government will track these down and if there are too many tax deductible trips, they could get suspicious and audit you. Just a word of warning.
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